Thursday, July 30, 2009

Long Family Weekend

Last weekend my brother came into town from New York City.  Sometimes you just need to get away.

It was a pretty relaxing time, with a Royals game as the big event of the weekend.

My dad bought us all amazing seats that were about five rows above the dugout behind first base.

It gave us a great view of the game, and a close up look at all the players.

I still can't get over the giant scoreboard.  I think it's worth a trip out to the stadium just to see that!

The stadium also has several different outdoor bars you can watch the game from.  I think it might be fun to buy the cheapest tickets possible and then go enjoy the game from a bar.

To top the night off, we did get to see the Royals win.  I heard it was their only win in that series against the Rangers.  It really was a great game.

And that pretty much sums up the weekend.  Hanging out and going to the Royals.  We did smoke chicken for my family on Sunday, but that's it.  It was fun.  It was relaxing.  It was a great way to spend a gorgeous weekend.  The next time we see my brother it will probably be when go to Chicago to see him run in the marathon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two Weekends of Smoking Meat

Two weekends ago we offered to smoke pork for our friend Jessica's 40th birthday party.

They had invited around 40 people to their party so we decided to smoke two 8 pound pork butts.  This time we brined the pork starting on Wednesday night before the party.  The brine was simply kosher salt and water.

When Brian got home from work Thursday night he rubbed both pork butts with seasoning and yellow mustard and honey (to help the rub stick).  Then wrapped each butt in saran wrap and stuck them back in the refrigerator to marinate until Friday afternoon.

Brian started smoking the pork when he got home from work Friday around 5 P.M.  He kept them cooking outside in the smoker for about 9 hours, and then finished the cooking process in the oven, which took another two hours.  We turned off the oven at 4 A.M. and went to bed while the pork was resting in the oven.

We got up at 8 A.M. and pulled the pork.  It literally fell off the bone.

The pork was a huge hit at the party, and I think everyone loved it.  Shanon and Jessica provided Jack Stack's baked beans, cheesy corn, cake and beer.  Thanks guys.

This past weekend we smoked two chickens for a BBQ get together we threw at our house.  I think we have this recipe figured out.  We have found that it isn't beneficial to brine the chicken, but we have found that injecting the chicken with our own special sauce is the way to go.

Injection Marinade
1 cup water
1 stick butter
2 Tbs Tony Chachere's
1 tsp black pepper

Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder
Lemon Pepper

We covered the chickens in rub and let them marinate for 4 to 5 hours., and then smoked them for about 6 hours until they reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

I also made homemade mac and cheese, homemade baked beans (Dilly and Clyde's secret recipe), fruit salad, and the best Strawberry Pie (recipe to come at a later date).

Thanks to all who came and made the awesomely gorgeous evening that much better!

And we can't forget about Punkzilla.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend Camping

We had originally planned to camp at Smithville for the Fourth of July, because it is so close to us, but when I drove up there early Thursday morning all 777 electric campsites were filled.  I couldn't believe it!  Oh, and you can't reserve sights ahead of time, so all of those people drove out there and paid in advance to have an empty campground until they showed up- unbelievable.  So we changed our plans and headed out to Longview Lake.  It was a nice place, but not near close enough to the water, so we will be finding a better place next time.

Anyways, we were able to stay for 3 days and two nights, which ended up being very relaxing and a great time.  It rained a few times, but the pop-up help up well and we were so glad we weren't in a tent when it rained all-night-long!

We took a lot of pics of the inside of the camper this time to give you a more intimate look into how we have been living on our campouts.

Here is looking at the camper from "our bed" over to "the dog's bed".  You can see our table, storage and sink area.  Of course we can't live without our TV and internet.  AWESOME! I know a lot of people think that having these amenities are downright stupid, but those people need to calm down and realize we don't use them as a principle form of entertainment. However, it is real nice to watch the morning news while you are cooking breakfast, or to check your Google Reader before you call it a night. Get over it you damn purists!

This is a close-up shot of the storage units that hold our towels, cooking supplies, bug spray, etc.  Next to that are the trash cans- one for recycling and one for everything else.  On the ground you can see our personal porta-pottie.  It is normally stored inside the cabinet when not in use, but I thought I would pull it out so you could all enjoy it.  It's really not as bad as I thought it would be, but I haven't been really bad to it yet...

Brian built a sled on wheels after this trip, so it's easier to slide the porta-pottie in and out of the cabinet (the thing gets pretty heavy as it fills up).

This next picture shows our sink and food storage/prep area.  Brian made those custom shelves out of shower rods bolted to shelf rails- an idea he got online.  It really provides a lot more storage space and is super helpful.  Brian also put in a new sink faucet that really helps out with dish washing- the old one was waaaay too short. The new faucet also pivots around, and has threads on the end (in case we ever want to hook a shower or hose to it).

And this last shot is looking from the dog's bed at all of our glory.  It's so much fun to be able to come in here to prep our food, relax in the AC when it's hot, and sleep soundly in heavy rain.

I also wanted to mention that we cooked the most awesome dessert Friday night.  I know this is a very common dessert, but we had never cooked it.  It was a dutch oven peach cobbler (or dump cake as known by others).

All you do is line the dutch oven with foil, pour in one can of fruit (any will do), pour one box of yellow cake mix on top, and then cut up one stick of butter on top of that.

Put the dutch oven near the fire,  put coals on top, and cook for about 40 minutes or until the top is a nice and brown and bubbly.  It was heavenly.

I really have to repeat how much fun we had! We are already starting to plan a trip to Colorado!

The rest of the weekend I worked, we cleaned house, mowed, cleaned up the trailer, watched NASCAR (you should go find a vid of the wreck on the final lap- yeah Tony Stewart- woo hoo!!), had lunch with my parents for a belated birthday party (thanks mom and dad for the awesome gifts, especially the dutch oven!), and watched Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood.  It all went by way too fast. :(

FYI, here is the full gallery of our camp trip.